Mykel NahorniakCEO at Localist

CEO at Localist; angel at K Street Capital; CAT 3 bike racer; passionate about all things Web and business.

Raised capital, set the vision, culture and strategy of the company, hired a team, scaled from an incubator into a healthy growth-stage business.

Recent Answers

1) Establishing yourself as a consultant, doing a consultative selling approach.
2) Figuring out who the _strategic_ person is. That's who you need to talk to. With enterprise businesses that size, purchasing decisions are made for long-term strategic benefit.
3) "Custom" is the key word. Don't talk about what you've done for others, talk about what you can do for them. Again reinforcing #1, ask lots of questions that tease out their unique goals and position your product around those goals.

I'm assuming you use something like Google Apps to handle your mail. If so, you can set up a "Group" called something like You can then add each rep's individual email as a member of that group.

Any contact forms, lead generation forms, or materials should point to that email address. Any inquiries you get will then go to all members of the group, and you can manage who is responsible for which inquiry separately.

As an alternative, if you have a "Sales Manager" type role in place, just have go to you, and forward qualified leads to each rep in a round-robin. It takes more manual work, but would allow for an equitable lead spread.

Need way more information than this.

For starters, you need to know the following:
What are their reasons for wanting to create an incubator?
What are their needs?
Can you meet those needs?
When are they planning to make a decision?
Who would be making the decision?
Are they committed to starting an incubator, or evaluating if they should at all?
What does the decision process look like?
Can they afford you?
What are potential roadblocks for you specifically?

That's a great question. I hope I understood it properly.

In terms of the comp landscape, tools like are great for finding market value salaries for specific titles/locations. No need to hire someone there.

For the rest, it seems like the expertise would be spread between an HR exec, or a CEO. I'd recommend reaching out to retired CEOs who are in mentorship programs at local incubators. They've been there and done that, so they know what goes into negotiating and retaining folks. They're used to walking through these types of challenges with startups.

If this is a one-time thing, I'd be happy to hop on a call to talk about these challenges as well.

A couple things: sales leadership and company culture are very closely linked. The sales management style at an AT&T kiosk is much different than the sales management style at an enterprise software startup. Try to find someone not necessarily in the same space, but in a company that closely aligns with your company's culture.

Next, find someone with a proven track record of leadership. There's a big difference between a manager and a leader. You don't need to hire them, just take them out for coffee (or, hell, find them on Clarity :)). But they have to be a good leader. See if you can talk to their direct reports, or surreptitiously ask your friends/network if they have a manager they look up to.

Ultimately, management is about people, so the industry really doesn't matter. A good sales leader can inspire the team without having to know the ins and outs of the industry or product.

Good question.

Not many questions need to be asked when it comes to accounting. Accountants really need two things: access to your accounting software for the general ledger, and access to copies of your bank statements.

They can figure out almost everything they need to with those two pieces of information.

In terms of keeping things proprietary, there's not much we withhold. They obviously need to know all the numbers to be able to work with you, and it can be helpful to keep them apprised of strategic plans, so they can advise on cash flow if they know it may be tight in the future.

Great question.

There's no magic bullet, but here are some bullet points for what has helped us over the years:

1) Be authentic to your product and your company. Share, and repeat that authentic voice wherever you can.

2) Identify patterns in your "high usage" members and encourage all members to do the same.

3) Don't bend to every request of the customer; be confident in what you're delivering, establishing yourself as a thought leader.

4) Try to drive any and all communication with your members through the channels you're targeting. For example, if someone emails you a support question, re-paste it in your community (along with your response) and respond to the requester individually telling them their answer is at the URL.

5) Communicate transparently in terms of what your intentions are with the marketplace and what you're doing to improve it.

It's tough without knowing more about your specific market place. Happy to chat to get more in-depth.

1) Identify schools that have admission rates as close to 100% as possible (most schools are over 100%, not sure if ANY are below 100%, so like below 110% admission is very low).

2) Identify schools that have low student retention rates.

3) Look for folks in the Admissions department.

The selling process is like any other. Identify compelling cases for why they'd want/need your list. "Having trouble finding students? We can help"

More information needed, I think. What goals do you want to accomplish with this beta? In terms of process and timeframe for actually _rolling out_ the beta, I don't think there's anything special that needs to be done.

When it comes to gathering feedback from those user segments, however, it would make sense to target them.

In short, someone was willing to pay $16bn, therefore it's worth $16bn.

Trying to tie intrinsic value to private companies is tough, and doesn't follow a logical path. If you look at Facebook's angle, it becomes pretty clear:

When you have 1 billion users, but still want to grow, you have to pay for it. FB looked at the WhatsApp acquisition purely from a user acquisition perspective, they paid $45 per user, which is a justifiable fee on their end. What makes it crazy is there were a lot of users involved. Because Facebook has become a mobile app company, and WhatsApp adds to the company portfolio, it makes long-term sense.

Additionally, much of WhatsApps user base was international, which is a huge untapped chunk of the world for Facebook. Acquiring WhatsApp allowed FB to make a big international splash in no time.

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